Radish Panzanella

Telling you I like panzanella is a little like telling you my teenage self liked pizza. I don't like panzanella; I want to eat it every day. In the same way I grew up buying Tombstone and Jack's and, let's be honest, eating any pizza anyone would give me, now I want panzanella, and I want it all the time. Really, the jump from pizza addict to panzanella evangelist isn't a crazy one. The most traditional versions of panzanella are practically pizza, deconstructed: bread, tomatoes, basil, mozzarella cheese. But lately, my panzanella love has pushed me to new combinations of ingredients, ones far stretched from anything resembling a pizza slice. And while sure, I might be biased, I have to say, I think a radish panzanella like this one could make a zealot out of anyone. This salad starts with radishes---and saying radishes are beautiful is kind of like saying I like panzanella. … [Read more...]

Herb-Roasted Carrot and Pesto Tartines

Even growing up in the Depression didn't make my grandma immune to persuasive tactics at the table. "Carrots are good for your eyes," she'd tell me as I pushed the boiled orange coins, floating in pools of butter, around my plate. Grandma had worn thick, plastic-framed glasses the whole time I'd known her, and I'd qualified as near-sighted almost as soon as I went to school, so the idea of not wearing glasses was appealing. She knew her audience, you could say. Thanks to her, carrots became one of the first vegetables I wanted to eat, along with green beans and potatoes, if you're the type that calls potatoes vegetables, but I can't say it was because I liked them. … [Read more...]

Zucchini Ribbons in Vegan Pesto Alfredo Sauce

There is such satisfaction in bringing together a meal, especially on a dreary day. Where most people crave blankets and movie screens on cloudy weekends, I am the type to crave the kitchen. The kitchen is a place of birth and discovery--a space for testing ideas and seeing what works, for creating combinations that nourish and delight--and when the dreary day you're facing stems from more than the weather, discovering new things is like medicine for the soul. … [Read more...]

Lemon Tarragon Pesto Dressing

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in possession of too much [insert green here] must be in want of a pesto---or, at least, that's how this recipe was born, as a response to too much tarragon in the fridge. Now, I realize I won't be telling you anything you don't know when I say making pesto is easy but, it is. Pesto is a basic formula: greens plus nuts plus oil plus cheese plus salt (and plus garlic! and probably lemon!, at least if you're asking me). Pesto is a basic process: combine ingredients in a blender or food processor and spin! But in return for your short ingredients list and easy preparation method, pesto gives you a killer pizza sauce, fantastic toast topper, the kind of thing to make eating a bowl of pasta a special treat. Sometimes, especially when it's a pesto like the one in this post, I eat pesto all on its own, spooning a bite of it to my mouth, smacking my lips together in sheer delight once I do. But, here's a bonus trick I only learned … [Read more...]

Roasted Vegetable + Herb Salad, for the People Who Can’t Do Everything (and for the Ones Who Can)

I had a lightbulb moment last week where I realized I cannot do everything (including, this post seems to indicate, take a non-blurry photo of a roasted vegetable dinner). I was sitting in the dining room when it happened: Like most workdays, I had my laptop open before me, streaming sunlight to my right, and, just then, I saw the neighbor working in her yard and thought how I'd like to go say hi---right as my inbox pulled in two new emails, my phone rang, I noticed dust collecting on the floorboards and my open Word document reminded me of how much left on this project there was yet to do. In that moment---that split-second moment---where so many of my honest desires, from keeping a clean house to being a productive freelancer, collided, this single thought, clear as day, hit my heart: I am just a person and I cannot do everything. Thing is, saying there are things I cannot do is humbling. In fact, I'm not sure I want to admit it to you. When you ask me to take on a project, I want … [Read more...]

Cajun Salmon & Garlic Parsley Mashed Potatoes

If you had stepped into our kitchen at around 4 p.m. a few Wednesday afternoons ago, you would have seen our side door, the one that exits to the driveway and our upstairs neighbor’s black iron stairs, flung wide open. You would have seen smoke wafting from the stove through that door, intermingling with the 50-some-degree weather and bright blue skies of Nashville February. And you would have smelled the sea, not the dreamy, refreshing scent of ocean tides, but the pungent, unfortunate odor of smelly, gamey raw fish. Tim and I were testing a recipe. The idea of fish for dinner is nothing new in my family. My parents eat it once a week, at least. When we take my dad to restaurants, he looks for fish on the menu and asks the waiter, looking the guy in the eye and flashing a smile, if the chef might be able to blacken the salmon? And if you really could do that, boy, that would be great. While it’s true I didn't grow up sharing my parents' love of fish---nor their ability to treat … [Read more...]

Einkorn Berries: Einkorn Breakfast Porridge + Einkorn Salad with Radicchio and Walnuts

Here we are, gang, a new week, another early Tuesday morning, and I'm still talking about einkorn. I know. But I figure, when I brought you Friday's post, less a story and more a list of FAQs, you all were such champs, and I mean you all, every last one of you, looking a new ingredient in the face boldly and bravely, ready to give it a shot, that maybe you wouldn't mind just one more einkorn post to follow it? The thing is, while we've already told you einkorn flour is great for pizza, pancakes, cookies (einkorn in these!), tartlets and pitas, and while you know you can create your own einkorn flour by buying the berries and grinding them at home, there's something else that needs to be said, because there's more to einkorn berries than flour: einkorn berries can hold their own. The truth is, that tiny mention in Friday's post about the berries, about using them in porridges or salads---it was a little lackluster, to say the least. It was not the kind of thing to get the message … [Read more...]